Controversial Mulan Remake Fuels Disney+ Downloads, Revenue
The release of Disney’s new live-action Mulan film has driven a surge in app downloads and revenue for Disney+, despite controversy surrounding the movie.
Preliminary data from mobile app store intelligence company Sensor Tower reported in Bloomberg shows a 68 per cent increase in downloads of the Disney+ app over the weekend, to a total of 890,000; additionally, consumer spending on the app almost tripled to $12 million compared with the previous week.
Mulan was released on Friday to Disney+’s Premium Access pay-per-view service after the COVID-19 pandemic scuppered the studio’s plans to release the film in cinemas. Viewers need to pay an additional fee on top of their existing subscriptions to access Mulan – in Australia, this fee is $34.95, while a monthly subscription is $8.99. The film is expected to release to all subscribers on December 4.
Despite its apparent success, the release of Mulan has been marred with controversy, with many baulking at the hefty extra charge and the lack of Chinese subtitles on a film about Chinese culture.
in case you needed any more reasons not to watch the new Mulan, it doesn’t even have Chinese subtitles on Disney Plus pic.twitter.com/eeqoyhsfoB
— Naaman Zhou (@naamanzhou) September 6, 2020
Additionally, activists have called for a boycott of the film over lead actress Liu Yifei’s pro-police and pro-Beijing stance on the Hong Kong protest movement; parts of the film were also reportedly shot in Xinjiang province, home to the Uighur Muslim minority, who are subject to a harsh regime of surveillance and “re-education” at the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.